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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I finally got a P38 for what I would consider to be a deal. Mauser Byf 44 with the Bakelite type grips. Appears to be matching, although I don’t have a great deal of knowledge about these and whether or not they have numbers everywhere like Lugers. I’m just very pleased to add it to the collection.
3770880
3770881
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good looking p38. Made in July 1944. If you take the slide off, there should have matching number on the locking block and should be stamped with an eagle 135
I’ll have to check that out when I get back to the safe.
Looks great! Have you gotten the opportunity to take it to the range yet?
I haven’t put a single round through it yet. I need to have a massive range day (ammo availability permitting) and shoot several that I’ve gotten over the past months and haven’t even tried yet.
 

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If it's matching with original grips, no import marks, original finish, then why risk 75 year old wartime bakelite at the range?

There are inside corners at the spur where the grips come together in back. Recoil hits those corners, that's where they crack.

At least put postwar grips on it to shoot, and get the right driver for that grip screw.

And those springs aren't getting younger either. Maybe get a refurb or P1 to shoot?
 

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better yet "if" it is all original don't shoot it at all

what the hell is wrong with some of you "have you shot it yet" 17 posts

even if it does function and shoots fine, the finish will get scratched I see this day in and day out

do not know what you paid, the minute that pistol hits the range the value will decrease

clean it and put it in a bore store and place in the safe

get a shooter GB is full of them

also check the inside of the grips to see how they are marked
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
You make good points gentlemen and that’s the reasons I haven’t fired it. I’ve had it for 6 months or better now without a round. Granted, I wasn’t 100% sure if it was a “collector level” piece so to say. I think I’ll leave it unfired by me like a few other firearms I’ve ended up with.
Just for anyone’s information, total investment in this example is $640
 

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There is an argument on both sides of shooting vs putting it on oil and stashing it away. A lot of these wartime firearms were worn and carried and most likely shot plenty of time. It's a great-looking pistol and I wouldn't be using it as a carry gun or tossing it around but I also wouldn't be afraid to shoot it at least once. Then pick up a post-war gun to use and abuse if you want a range toy.

As for P-38 references, this is a great book The P-38 by Alexander Krutzek or any of the Buxton volumes.
 

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I have a '45 Mauser P-38. After about 20 rounds the aluminum cover on top if the slide came off and hit me in the forehead (metal cracked) When I got home I realized one of the grip screws came out as well. In a way its a fascinating example of the desperate situation late in the war, but it it's not a good shooter.
 

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I am not a gunsmith and am not offering advice, I am just saying this is what I try to do.

I think a very reasonable thing to do with milsurps you buy is to field strip them and if a rifle, take them out of the furniture and inspect the metal and all weak points(if you have an understanding of what to look for), pitting(if it exists), cracks in stocks/grips, barrel condition, springs/firing pins, magazine damage/follower issues and if possible check headspace. Clean the gun up and then take some shots. Not full proof but a heck of a lot better than cranking off shots in the dark concerning the guns condition and potentially your wallets condition if something was avoidable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have a few P38's and only shoot one of them occasionally. You don't want to shoot hot ammo through this. As for 640, you did really good if it all matches. I take it the number on the front under the barrel matches as well.
Yes, I’ve looked it all over and it’s all matching.
I certainly didn’t get it to shoot frequently or with hot loads. Just wanted one for my collection and jumped on the right price when given the opportunity.
 

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I have shot many wartime p38s,some rough pitted examples and missmatches,with never a problem.Also test fired my nice ones, again with no prob.Not telling you what to do,its your pistol and you must decide.A note,ww2 German 9mm ammo,that its made to shoot , is hotter than Winchester white box.If a pistol dosent work its not much really collectable to me.JMO
 

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As mentioned by several folks above I've fired all my Lugers, P.38s, Mausers, Walthers etc. in my humble collection just to know they function properly. I have one mismatched Luger and one mismatched P.38 which are my shooters but I shoot only my own reloads in both pieces so I know I'm not over pressuring anything. These are not carry pieces, just fun guns to take out to my range and burn a little powder. By the way I have a byf 44 P.38 with a dkk 44 black leather holster much like yours in the photo with black high luster plastic grip panels. This is not my shooter but I have fired it with my reloads to make sure it functions properly.
 
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